Saffie raising the Bar – The Top Three

Sandown, Chester, and York Tips

Last week, The Top Three landed one win from one bet thanks to Monsieur Kodi in the Goodwood opener, two hours before racing was abandoned at the track.

That victory was a welcome piece of profit for the P&L which is still in the red at -6.365pts.

There are three bets to consider this week from the Curragh, the Shergar Cup, and Haydock all within 25 minutes, so let’s dive in.


3:00 Haydock – Midnight Mile @ 5/1 with William Hill – 2pts win

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Over the last few weeks, plenty of my Ante-Post Analysis fancies have made it onto the team sheet for The Top Three for many reasons.

Either they’re a very strong fancy and I’m still happy to back them at what could be a shorter price, or in the case of Midnight Mile, a good price is still available compared to what it was on Wednesday.

At just a point and a half shorter today than earlier this week, the 5/1 available with William Hill is still a very fair price for Richard Fahey’s three-year-old filly.

Wednesday’s piece covered a deep dive into her form book and why she stands out from that perspective, so here is how the pace of the race looks now that we have a confirmed field.

From the seven in the field, four can feasibly lead from the front – Classic Causeway, King Of Conquest, El Drama, and Phantom Flight – with James Horton’s four-year-old the most likely one to be heading the pack.

Therefore, we could see a fair bit of early pace, especially if the outsider Classic Causeway challenges Phantom Flight from the front.

This should play into the hands of the favourite Al Aasy, who sauntered through the field last time out, and Midnight Mile who has been at her best when pouncing from her midfield position.

With just the two places on offer, it’s difficult to play each-way with the way the race could shape up, so I’m with the win-only option for Midnight Mile in the Group 3 Rose Of Lancaster Stakes.


3:20 Ascot – Escobar @ 13/2 with William Hill – 1pt each-way

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20 minutes later, over at Ascot, the Shergar Cup Mile will take place and Escobar is the one who stands out at the prices under Saffie Osborne.

Officially rated 102, the David O’Meara-trained nine-year-old comes into today on his lowest mark for four years having failed to win in six attempts this season.

Furthermore, the experienced racer won at the track last season over seven furlongs off a five-pound higher mark as well as placing in the Clipper Logistics Handicap off 105.

The last three runs have been poor in handicap company, but before that, he ran three solid races in level-weights contests at Thirsk, Haydock, and Epsom.

At his age, and with the number of runs he has had, there is a small possibility that he could be regressing, but with some of the form he has over the last 12 months, I can’t let him go off at 13/2 unbacked.


3:25 Curragh – Go Athletico @ 10/3 with BetVictor – 2pt Win

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Finally, over the water at the Curragh, the Group 3 Phoenix Sprint Stakes is a good warm-up act ahead of today’s Group 1 Phoenix Stakes later on the card.

Although Commanche Falls commands respect at the top of the market, it’s the second-favourite, Go Athletico, that will carry my money for Adrian McGuinness and Ronan Whelan.

All season, I have been looking to take on Michael Dodds’ six-year-old and granted, this has been without success, but today could be the best chance to catch him out.

Connections bought Go Athletico for €165,000 in April from France on the back of his Listed success on soft ground at Deauville over an extended five furlongs.

Since the purchase, the five-year-old by French sire Goken landed the Listed Midsummer Sprint Stakes at Cork before a good run in second behind Art Power in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes 21 days ago.

With Commanche Falls set to give three pounds away to the progressing five-year-old, today’s step-up in trip should suit, and at 10/3, I’m happy to find out if he is good enough to down the in-form favourite, especially if any rain falls at the course.

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